Sunday, January 18, 2015

New York note

Not your (Irish) grandfather's NYPD; this year's Police Academy recruits being welcomed on January 9 by Mayor Bill de Blasio (David Handschuh/New York Daily News).
Via Mahablog, very encouraging columns by Juan Gonzales at the Daily News suggest a lot of ferment going on in the NYPD over the police brutality controversy of Eric Garner, Akai Gurley, and Patrick Lynch's leadership of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, not to Lynch's advantage: for the first time since 2003 he seems likely to have an opponent in the PBA election, which is coming up in June, and it will be one who represents the patrolmen's embarrassment over his shameful treatment of Mayor de Blasio:

First came the anemic response to a letter Lynch issued on the PBA website asking cops to bar the mayor and Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito from their funerals if they were killed on the job. Only 4% of cops have signed it, sources told The News.
Then on Tuesday, a shoving match erupted at a PBA delegates meeting between Lynch supporters and opponents.
The shoving match occurred as Lynch was repeating his demand that de Blasio apologize for his supposed disrespect of the police force, and the anti-Lynch offers said they didn't want an apology:
“This is what my members want!” a cop yelled near the end of the raucous meeting. “They want more cars, better vests, more manpower!”
And Lynch is failing to represent them in these issues as he persists in alienating the mayor and City Council. The fact is he is showing himself to be a crappy bargaining agent for the cops, who has done nothing in years to improve working conditions, and failed to get them a contract after 54 months of standoffs, when almost all the other city unions have gotten contracts in de Blasio's first year as mayor; the case is going to go to state arbitration, and there's no predicting how it will come out, but it could easily be a less desirable deal than the PBA could have negotiated with the mayor if they'd been able to negotiate at all.

the PBA is not the same union that first elected Lynch back in 1999. Black, Latino and Asian officers are now a majority of city cops. Many are critical of previous stop-and-frisk policies and the targeting of minority youth for quality-of-life arrests. Lynch and his mostly white PBA old guard will face a tougher test in a contested election this time.
Let it happen!

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